The greatest achievement of Rajiv Gandhi was that he once helped Atal Behari Vajpayee in getting proper treatment in the US. The Congress stalwarts, family loyalists and lackey journalists have admitted this through their numerous statements and tweets. Why else would anyone highlight the matter as much as they did on the former’s birth anniversary?
That Rajiv had the good sense to envision that Atalji’s life was precious, for he was destined to become the PM of India in the future, and finally display guts to conduct the Nuclear Tests is laud worthy. Not many leaders are able to concede that their opponents shall succeed in some endeavours where they could not.
Anyway, Vajpayee was not given any khairat from the Nehru Foundation or the Indira Gandhi Trust, rather his name was included in the UN delegation to serve the country (1987-88). It was implied that Atal would utilize this time to get medical advice. That Atal was not unqualified for the job would be an understatement. He was a veteran Parliamentarian, and an ex-EAM, the first delegate ever to speak Hindi at the UN. In fact, this was not a one-time affair. Vajpayee was later asked by PV Narsimha Rao in 1994 to lead an all-party delegation to Geneva, UNHCR, and bust the claims of Pakistan regarding alleged human rights violations in Kashmir. Salman Khurshid and Farooq Abdullah had accompanied him on that trip, and together the trio had saved the day for India.
Vajpayee’s persuasiveness, charm and vision lent him the aura of a natural diplomat. He remained quite grateful towards Rajiv Gandhi for providing him with an opportunity to officially visit the US when he was looking to get his kidney treated. With his usual poetic exuberance, he thanked Rajiv for saving his life. These are the Hindu samskars. We tend to be thankful. It does not mean that Atal or his camp were penniless. When Deen Dayal Upadhyay was murdered in 1968, he was travelling in a first class bogey, for heavens’ sake. Sanghis and BJP leaders have never so poor as to be required to beg. Lackeys of today present the incident in a very unsavoury manner. That is how they hope to keep their jobs. The other sides of their tongues have developed blisters, because continuously licking boots from one side has desiccated their rapiers.
Well, of course, Vajpayee was an honest man, and could not have afforded the expensive treatment abroad by himself. He might not have liked to burden his organization either. Health services in India had failed to develop in nearly forty years of one-family rule. He was in dire straits. That much is a given. Nowadays we hear of some politicians making foreign trips every other week. They can afford the expenses given the high salaries offered to public representatives, or by spending the wealth left by their forefathers, all of whom happened to be public servants as well.
Thank God, Atal Behari Vajpayee repaid the debt in full measure, and did not die with the debt against his name.
How, I won’t be able to tell you.
Atal had spoken up while paying tributes to Rajiv. The beneficiary of Atal’s intervention kept silent when the latter had passed away. Who am I to provide a prop to the grapevine?
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